Human Rights, or the Illusion Thereof

The UN is pushing for the arrest on war crimes charges of General Wiranto, Indonesia's former military leader and a strong candidate in July's presidential elections. Wiranto has "hired American campaign advisers and published an English translation of his memoirs" to "burnish his image internationally." Major U.S. law firm Alston & Bird is also lobbying to improve Indonesia's image "as a solid ally in President Bush's war on terror and one that is committed to democracy and human rights." A&B's contract is with the commissioner of P.T. Pacific Barito Timber, Indonesia's oldest and largest timber company, which itself has been criticized by environmental and rights groups.